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Home > News archive > August 2006 > 04 August 2006

Merseytravel staff receive AED training

Around 100 Merseytravel employees have received training on how to use Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs), used to improve survival rates for patients with heart problems.

Merseytravel staff from the Mersey Ferries, Mersey Tunnels (including officers of the Tunnels Police), and bus stations across Merseyside, received the training from paramedics from North West Ambulance Service (NWAS).

The four-hour sessions were designed to give staff the training needed to resuscitate heart failure victims and to use the AED machines safely.

Seven AED machines have now been placed in areas across the public transport network in Merseyside, including two on board the Mersey Ferries and one each at Queens Square, Paradise Street and Huyton bus stations. Two more will be placed in Tunnel Police vehicles in the near future.

Councillor Mark Dowd, chair of Merseytravel, said: "By training our staff to use these machines we know we will have people who are fully trained and ready to react if someone suffers a heart problem in our bus stations, in the tunnels or on the ferries. It's important we do all we can to help anyone needing quick treatment."

The joint initiative, led by NWAS, forms part of the wider National Community Defibrillator Programme (NDP) that aims to place 130 AED machines in local communities and busy public places throughout Cheshire and Merseyside, over the next 12 months.

The project also aims to increase the number of people trained in emergency life support. The British Heart Foundation (BHF) is working closely with the Department of Health on the initiative.

Community defibrillation officer at NWAS, Rob Hussey, said: "We will always send an emergency vehicle, but the community can help us and patients' survival if they can play a part in commencing treatment immediately. This project will train and re-train people in life support techniques.

"We are delighted to be working in conjunction with Merseytravel and their staff to improve outcomes for cardiac patients travelling in and around the city."

Katherine Peel, head of ELS at the British Heart Foundation added: "Given the large daily footfall at transport sites, we are delighted to see this local collaborative effort to improve access to defibrillation across Merseyside.

"This partnership approach shares the common objective of reducing premature loss of life. It puts the needs of our community first and we welcome this opportunity to support this local National Defibrillator Programme project."

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